The virtual European Cancer Summit 2020 on 18 & 19 November brought together leading oncology experts, patient advocates, politicians and policy-makers to discuss the main issues impacting cancer policy, for the benefit of cancer patients, healthcare professionals and all people across Europe.
This year, the European Cancer Summit is more important than ever. The COVID-19 crisis has impacted health care systems and workforces across the world, not least on the resources normally dedicated to cancer early detection and treatment. Citizens with concerns about cancer have been more reluctant to engage with healthcare professionals for fear of catching the virus. Cancer workforces and facilities have been redeployed to deal with the crisis, not always with the right level of protection and support.
And at the same time, two important European cancer initiatives have been under development. Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, launched on 4 February at the EU Parliament, and the EU Cancer Mission have both been consulting on their plans and looking for medical expertise and patient experience.
So this year, the stage is set for very interesting discussions on a number of topics, prioritised by our member societies as the most important areas of collaboration across disciplines and professions within the @EuropeanCancer family.
We have leading speakers and panellists confirmed and you can see the full gallery of who is joining us "on stage" here.
Our Summit includes sessions on the EU Cancer Mission, Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan; Cancer Issues Worldwide, the Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer; as well as the subjects covered by our Focused Topic Networks. See our final programme here .
The European Cancer Summit is much more than a coming-together of leaders in the cancer policy field. By forming high level resolutions on the organisation of cancer care, the Summit represents an important ‘working together’ of diverse stakeholder interests, creating and expressing new consensus on the change required within European health systems to deliver the best care to cancer patients.
Simply returning to pre COVID-19 cancer systems is not an option. We must urgently address the COVID-19 induced backlog in all aspects of cancer control and build back better cancer care delivery systems for European citizens and patients.
European Cancer’s New Normal must deliver more resilient cancer systems that:
1. Urgently address the cancer backlog
2. Restore confidence of European citizens and patients in cancer health services
3. Tackle medicines, products and equipment shortages
4. Address cancer workforce gaps across the European continent
5. Employ innovative technologies to strengthen cancer systems and provide optimal care to cancer patients
6. Embed data collection and the rapid deployment of cancer intelligence to enhance policy delivery
7. Secure deeper pan-European health cooperation
Cancer must not become the Forgotten “C” in the Fight against COVID-19.
Research in cancer care should address questions relevant and meaningful for patients and public health. Such research should follow an independent process to support optimal access for patients to evidence-based multidisciplinary cancer treatment.
To achieve this, a reorientation of health systems and research approaches in cancer is needed. This requires addressing gaps in clinical and health services research applied to cancer through a reverse engineering approach, starting with better definition of the important clinical and public health questions.
Europe's Beating Cancer Plan must address huge inequalities across Europe, between and within countries.
A powerful means to raise the bar is a European Cancer Dashboard, including the European Code of Cancer Practice, to report key metrics and ensure quality cancer care.
It's time to take European cooperation on cancer screening to the next level. The European Cancer community recommends:
The European Cancer Community awaits the publication of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan with eager anticipation, and in the time remaining before its publication, reminds of the need to:
Ensuring the access of cancer patients to specialised multi-professional care should be as high a priority for countries, and international organisations such as the EU and WHO, as ensuring patient access to products and technologies.
Therefore, a fundamental tool for the delivery of EU ambitions on improving cancer care should be the Professional Qualifications Directive. The Directive should be proactively deployed to support specialisms in cancer care in harmonising education and training requirements and increasing the mobility of vital skills and experience in cancer care across Europe.
Immediate and urgent action should be taken to ensure that cervical cancer screening programmes are not interrupted by COVID-19, especially in countries with the lowest screening rates. The adoption of HPV self-sampling must be accelerated in order to improve uptake.
HPV-associated cancers are preventable by universal vaccination. Anti-vaccination misinformation is putting programmes at serious risk and all European health authorities must act now to improve public confidence in HPV vaccination.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go further, go together.
We, participants of the European Cancer Summit 2020, commit ourselves to working in an open collaborative way, knowing that it is teamwork that brings the best results for cancer patients. Our global community will stand together to face the challenges ahead in our mission of combating cancer.
The co-chairs of the European Cancer Summit 2020, Isabel Rubio and Stefan Gijssels, have worked with the co-chairs of our Focused Topic Networks to finalise a relevant and impactful programme with leading speakers. Please see full details of each session below.
(Timelines subject to change)
President of the European Cancer Organisation, Matti Aapro and Summit Co-Chairs, Isabel Rubio and Stefan Gijssels open the Summit with their introductions for the coming sessions.
No area of cancer care has been left undamaged by the impacts of COVID-19. Harm has been inflicted on prevention efforts, such as vaccination, through to screening, treatment and follow up care. While rapid catchup is required, so too is frank debate and resolution about what lessons must be learnt and applied most quickly to place Europe on a stronger footing for the likely 'next time'. We invite Europe's cancer community to join us for this critical exchange.
The Co-Chairs of our Special Network on the Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Mirjam Crul and Mark Lawler lead this important discussion with interventions from Jens Spahn Federal Minister of Health in Germany, Bente Mikkelsen (Director for Non-communicable Diseases, World Health Organization) and Veronique Trillet-Lenoir MEP (Co-Chair of the MEPs Against Cancer Group). Joining them in the debate will be John Ryan (Director of Public Health, DG Sante), Kathy Oliver (Co-Director of the International Brain Tumour Alliance and Vice Chair of the Patient Advisory Committee) and Nicoletta Luppi (Senior Vice President and Managing Director, MSD Italia) with moderated questions from Summit delegates.
In 2020 the European Cancer Organisation established a Health Systems and Treatment Optimisation Network with the aim of bringing about a reorientation of health systems and research approaches in cancer in order to achieve the twin aims of:
Working with members of the European Cancer Organisation, patient advocates, members of Community 365 and invited experts, the Network has developed propositions to support re-engineering of approaches towards research, use of real world data and the pervading market and post market regulatory framework.
Co-Chairs Denis Lacombe and Yolande Lievens invite you to join them as they share assessments of the challenges and opportunities associated with such a reform agenda with speakers including:
2020 is an eventful year for the Quality Cancer Care agenda in Europe. The run-up to the European Cancer Summit marks the publication of a new European Code of Cancer Practice, new Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care for Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer and Lung Cancer, and the launch of our new Quality Cancer Care Network at the European level. The Organisation of European Cancer Institutes has also published 100 European core quality standards for cancer care and research centres and the European Cancer Organisation is now in the process of developing Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care for Pancreatic Cancer, Ovarian Cancer and Glioma. The European Cancer Summit will give the opportunity to not only reflect on these key developments but also to plan ahead together for an even more impactful 2021. Quality Cancer Care is everyone's concern. We invite you to bring your perspective and make your voice heard.
Co-Chairs Simon Oberst and Philip Poortmans are joined by Thierry Philip (EU Cancer Mission Assembly member and President of OECI), Frances Fitzgerald MEP, Francesca Colombo (Head of the OECD Health Division), Sema Erdem (Co-Chair of the Patient Advisory Committee) and Peter Luhrs (Therapeutic Area Head Oncology, Bayer) for focused presentation and discussion on the practical means by which European visions for cancer care can be turned into reality. In so doing, the session will give particular attention to the implementation of comprehensive cancer care infrastructures, and how better use of data can lead to results driven efficacy.
Our Inequalities Network aims to identify and highlight the existing disparities in access and delivery of evidence-based care and optimal outcomes for patients with cancer across Europe. Inequalities may discriminate against patients with cancer based on nationality, geography, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, literacy, income, availability of clinical trials and presence of disability. Inequalities are a major source of variation in cancer care for various groups of patients and should be a key topic for policy makers.
This session will provide insight into ongoing initiatives to tackle disparities in cancer care and future directions to ensure equity in cancer care across Europe.
Moderated by the Co-Chairs of our Inequalities Network, Nicolo Battisti and Hein Van Poppel, we are delighted to have a panel of speakers that will speak on different aspects of the Inequalities issue:
With Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan trailed to have a distinct section devoted to improving early detection and diagnosis of cancer, how can existing European level recommendations on cancer screening achieve a better implementation in practice? What are the routes to improving quality assurance of screening? How should Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan take account of new options on screening, including risk stratified approaches? How can cost effectiveness of screening be best understood in the decision-making process?
Our Prevention Network which is led by Co-Chairs Isabel Rubio and Jan Van Meerbeeck addresses itself to such matters, with a team of experts to present and debate issues around early detection and screening, including:
Stella Kyriakides, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety will join the @EuropeanCancer community to share the latest progress on Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, due to be finalised before the end of 2020. This follows months of consultation after the launch of the Plan at the EU Parliament on World Cancer Day, 4 February 2020. The plan should provide actions to accelerate and improve country coordination in combatting cancer. The European Cancer Summit 2020 is ideally timed to hear the latest information about the plan and to discuss together its implementation in 2021.
In addition, the National Ministers responsible for Research in Portugal, Germany and Slovenia will participate with their contribution on how Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan can be supported by their EU Presidency in the context of Research. We look forward to hearing from Manuel Heitor, Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education in Portugal, Anja Karliczek, Federal Minister of Education and Research in Germany, and Simona Kustec, Minister of Education, Science and Sport in Slovenia during this session.
The Commissioner will be joined “on stage” by the European Cancer Organisation’s Executive Committee, as well as the co-chairs of this year’s Summit, for comment and discussion.
The European Cancer Summit will shine a spotlight on the concluding work of the European Cancer Mission Board, ahead of the formal commencement of the EU Cancer Mission in 2021.
The session will open with a keynote address from Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, in which the overall approach of the European Commission 2019-24 towards cancer research will be outlined.
Thereafter, moderated by Matti Aapro, President of the European Cancer Organisation and Member of the Cancer Mission Assembly, panelists will explore key targets and actions of the forthcoming Mission, including its focus on areas such as Prevention, Quality of Life and Survivorship and other major challenges to be tackled within its programme of action.
Nathalie Moll, Director General at European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations
The inclusion of a specific section of Europe's Beating Cancer Plan dedicated to Survivorship and Quality of Life issues represented a landmark in confirming the high political recognition this agenda has now achieved. Supporting this, our Survivorship and Quality of Life Network is devoted to pushing policy-makers to go further faster in tackling issues such as discrimination against cancer patients and survivors, providing better quality supportive care and to beating cancer stigma and fear.
Building on the Network’s focus on both physical and psycho-social needs of cancer patients and survivors, Co-Chairs Andrew Davies and Csaba Degi will lead this session including presentations on:
and a discussion with:
The session will end with an update from Francoise Meunier (Vice President, Federation Of European Academies Of Medicine) on progress made since the resolution passed at the European Cancer Summit in 2018 on Financial Discrimination and the “Right to be Forgotten” which, thanks to Francoise’s leadership, has already been adopted by some European countries.
Without a workforce you have no cancer care. Continual policy attention must be provided to such matters as education and training, labour mobility, professional qualification recognition and addressing workforce shortages. Europe has a role in all these areas. Yet it appears far from clear that, to date, this role has met its full potential.
Opening with a Conversation with Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs And Inclusion, the session will then hear expert perspectives and responses from Nicolás González Casares, a nurse and Member of the European Parliament; Lynda Wyld, Professor of Surgical Oncology at the University of Sheffield; Kathi Apostolidis, President of the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC); and, Alexandru Eniu, Chair of the College of the European School of Oncology.
Moderated by Workforce Network Co-Chairs, Andreas Charalambous (EONS), Mirjam Crul (ESOP) and Geerard Beets (ESSO), the session builds in open opportunity for exchange with the audience before inviting attendees to participate in the agreement of Network resolution on the topic of professional qualification recognition.
2020 is the year when the global community committed itself to the elimination of a cancer caused almost entirely by HPV through the World Health Organization’s new cervical cancer strategy. What will be Europe's role in this global effort and can it go further and achieve the elimination of all the cancers caused by HPV?
The HPV Action Network, led by Daniel Kelly and Rui Medeiros has been working hard on the issues around vaccination, screening, treatment and awareness of HPV and in October 2020 produced a report (Viral Protection: Achieving the Possible. A Four Step Plan for Eliminating HPV Cancers in Europe). They will lead this session which will include:
Andrea Ammon, Director General of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), speaking on ‘Time for Action: Overcoming the barriers to HPV cancer elimination’
There will also be presentations and discussions on:
Alessandra Moretti MEP, Member, Special Committee on Beating Cancer, will join the panel to discuss how Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan can make a real difference in HPV elimination.
Members of the HPV Action Network around Europe will be in the audience contributing to the debate.
10, 20 and 30 years from now, how will technology have changed cancer care? What preparations for those futures should we already be making? What technologies already at our fingertips are we failing to make best use of? While the sense of urgency in the cancer community about embracing the powers of new technology for better treatment and care grows, persistent barriers remain. What opportunities are presently available to get past these?
Led by our Digital Health Network, this session will hear experience from leading experts, share perspectives from a range of stakeholders on key controversies and open new horizons for attendees about the coming possibilities.
Keynote presentations will examine the current status of cancer care’s transformation by digital technology from the perspectives of the clinician, the world of biomedical informatics, as well as imaging.
Join our Digital Health Network co-Chairs Regina Beets-Tan and Wim Oyen, as they unlock the crucial points of debate with:
Audience members too will be key participants as a lively exchange is expected on the controversies and points of solution!
Matti Aapro, President of the European Cancer Organisation will moderate a discussion on the most important issues in cancer facing the world today, with a panel of experts from around the world including:
President of the European Cancer Organisation, Matti Aapro and Summit Co-Chairs, Isabel Rubio and Stefan Gijssels close the Summit with their observations from the previous sessions.